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Comment: Total 'newb' here (Score 4, Funny) 402

by rnelsonee (#34097106) Attached to: The temperature where I am now is controlled by...

I moved to a new place, and am unfamiliar with the heating system. I don't even know what *type* of system it is (the house is 100 years old, I have a thermostat, and heat exchangers in most rooms, but those have knobs as well). I have emailed the landlord on how to use it, and she is still crafting a reply. So, I must make strategic use of blankets until I get an email. I don't mind installing computerized thermostats as I did at my old place, but anything that doesn't use computers is a mystery to me!

Comment: It's what consumers pay for - and want (Score 1) 1140

by rnelsonee (#33813350) Attached to: Why Are We Losing Vertical Pixels?

Laptops are increasingly used by individual consumers, who will flock towards cheaper solutions (compared to business consumers). Not only lower cost, but home users have different needs, particularly in the media display department (like more TV/video/DVD watching), so 16:9 is getting more and more popular as there's no black bars needed to view their existing media. And displays like 1366x768 are extremely popular (just about the only option in in the 12"-14" market) because they're cheap and conform to the 16:9 ratio.

I'd love more vertical space (I had to settle for 768 pixels for my 13" laptop), but there's a $1,000 premium to go from a top of the line Acer to a top of the line Vaio, so forget it.

Comment: Re:A veteran Civilization fan... (Score 1) 380

by rnelsonee (#33655348) Attached to: First Reviews of Civilization V

I bought a computer less than 3 months ago, which cost $700 on sale and has a new processor architecture that was released just earlier this year, and it barely meets the minimum requirements. It's not like this is an FPS - it shouldn't be hard to get this working in a reduced graphics mode for older computers.

Comment: Re:It's all BS (Score 1) 272

by rnelsonee (#33457418) Attached to: EPA Proposes Grading System For Car Fuel Economy

>A) Replace the 20 mpg with 25 mpg
>B) Replace the 20 mpg with 32 mpg.

Sure, it's trivial to know which one saves more gas - but I bet you can't tell me how much gas your save without breaking out a calculator and taking inverses.

Option A is 25% more than 20mpg, Option B is 60% more than 20mpg. So Option B clearly saves more than twice as much as A, right? Nope - it saves less than that.

Again, if we used GPM, this would all be much easier. How much gas would you save if you replaced a car that used 5 gallons/100mi with one that used 4 g/100m or one with 3.13 g/100m? Clearly Option A saves you 1/5th of gas, and the second option saves less than twice that.

And since you brought up likelyhoood of scenarios, this happens *all the time*. If you're deciding to replace your car with one that comes in either gasoline or hybrid/diesel, with the latter having a higher price tag, you need to know how much money you'll save on gas to see if it warrants a) buying the car and b) which model to buy. Seeing numbers like 32mpg vs 25mpg make people think the 32mpg is some huge money-saver over their current car, when it's really not. Hence - more people are buying new cars to save money on gas, and they're saving less than they realize.

Comment: Re:It's all BS (Score 4, Informative) 272

by rnelsonee (#33422986) Attached to: EPA Proposes Grading System For Car Fuel Economy

Most people argue GPM is better for exactly those reasons - it's easier to compare. For example, you have two cars - one that gets 10 mpg and one that gets 33 mpg. You can replace the 10 mpg with one that gets 11 mpg, or replace the 33 mpg car with one that gets 45 mpg. Quick, which saves more gas?:

A) replace the 10 mpg with 11 mpg
B) replace the 33 mpg with 45 mpg

The answer is A. The first changes from 10 gallons per 100 miles to 9 gallons per 100 miles - 1 gallon saved every hundred miles. Option B changes from 3 gallons per 100 miles to 2.2 gallons per 100 miles - less than a gallon saved (per 100 miles). It's completely non-intuitive if you use the backwards "mpg" measurement.

If we just used consumption instead of MPG, we wouldn't have this problem.

Comment: Five years!? (Score 3, Insightful) 762

by rnelsonee (#33194890) Attached to: Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings

Well, it usually takes over 100,000 miles to break even, so the study, which only considers 5 years, is fairly useless. On a thread last week, someone calculated that a Prius will take 320,000 miles to to break even (and I checked the math, as we all like to do!). And the average Prius will last longer than 5 years - especially since those with a "greener" lifestyle know how bad buying a new car is for the environment.

I'd imagine about half of the cars pay back the owner in fuel costs. And it's obviously variable as gas prices are fairly volatile lately...

Comment: Re:Spoiler Alert (Score 1) 196

by rnelsonee (#33036108) Attached to: Behind the Special Effects of <em>Inception</em>

When Cobb was killed in limbo, how do you know he died? We know being killed gets you out of limbo - not only did it work before (with Cobb and Mol) but may have also worked while they were on the plane, because Adriana killed herself in limbo and woke up. When they woke up, there was no machine hooked up to them (the flight attendant had removed it) so they were no longer under heavy sedation.

Comment: Re:didn't ask the right people (was: Re:Yes) (Score 1) 646

by rnelsonee (#32972840) Attached to: Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

Uh-huh - manufacturers spend money to put a film on screens to make them look worse. Let me guess - you don't work for a company that makes computer displays, right? Ignorance is one thing, but trying to teach others when you don't know what you're talking about is not nice.

The film doesn't allow the light to scatter when it hits the LCD surface, which has all sorts of benefits, such as more vibrant color.

Comment: Re:Glossy is a bad name (Score 1) 646

by rnelsonee (#32968090) Attached to: Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

If we're prioritizing efficiency, why not "GvM"? I care more about sensible names than efficient ones.

Framing it as "Glossy vs. Matte" is like saying "Bad gas mileage vs. Good gas mileage" for a vehicle, because glossy is not desirable (nor intended, really). Is everyone who drives a car with less than 30mpg an idiot for buying their car? No - because worse mileage is really a side effect of having a good/powerful engine that many people enjoy having.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.